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Christopher Handman
Partner, Washington, D.C.
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chris.handman@hoganlovells.com

Having argued nearly 50 appellate cases, Chris Handman has been recognized as one of the country's top appellate practitioners. The American Lawyer named him Litigator of the Week in 2013 for "winning a ruling that's being hailed as a milestone for press freedom."

Chris's practice is truly national in scope; he has argued in nearly all the federal circuit courts of appeals and in a sizeable number of state Supreme Court and intermediate appellate courts as well. Chris has also briefed many matters before the U.S. Supreme Court at both the petition and merits stages. Throughout these appeals, Chris has represented a wide variety of clients in a number of diverse industries, including the technology, automotive, aviation, and insurance fields. The issues he has addressed have been just as wide ranging, including major questions involving the Patent Act, the Clean Air Act, the Commerce Clause, federal preemption, state-law automobile franchise law, the First Amendment, due process, separation of powers, and the Americans With Disabilities Act. He has also litigated a substantial number of appeals involving administrative process and procedure before the D.C. Circuit.

In adding the firm to its 2010 and 2011 editions of the Appellate Hot List, the National Law Journal highlighted Chris as the lead lawyer in several significant appeals that provided his clients with major precedent-setting victories.

Before joining Hogan Lovells, Chris served as a law clerk to The Honorable Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and before that, as a law clerk to The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
  • Secured a landmark press-freedom ruling before New York's highest court. On behalf of a journalist threatened with contempt for refusing to reveal her confidential sources, Chris briefed and argued that a subpoena calling for the journalist to travel out of state to reveal her sources in another state's courts violated New York's public policy favoring press freedom.
  • Successfully argued a major appeal in the D.C. Circuit on behalf of a trade association challenging an order of the FAA that would have granted the public a right to "track" the flights of private aircraft.
  • On behalf of a major automobile manufacturer, successfully briefed and argued a Third Circuit appeal that overturned a US$45 million judgment on a jury verdict; the across-the-board legal victory spared the client US$300 million in additional damages by disposing of dozens of identical pending lawsuits.
  • Successfully briefed and argued on behalf of a major automobile manufacturer a Third Circuit appeal that overturned a jury verdict that would have imposed tens of millions of dollars in liabilities based on state-law franchise claims.
  • Through briefing and argument as amicus curiae, helped secure a watershed ruling from the en banc Ninth Circuit, holding that the so-called "border search exception" to the Fourth Amendment — which allows the government to search all travelers and their belongings at the border without any hint of suspicion — does not authorize forensic searches of electronic media, like laptops, cellphones, and the like, without a showing of reasonable suspicion.
  • Representing a major automobile manufacturer before the Federal Circuit in a case brought by a "patent troll" accusing the client of infringing a patent.
  • On behalf of a major heavy-duty engine manufacturer, argued and won a significant victory against the Environmental Protection Agency in the D.C. Circuit; the court granted Chris's motion for expedited consideration, heard argument just weeks after the petition for review was filed, and struck down an interim final rule that was inflicting significant harm on the client.
  • Briefed, argued, and won an appeal raising a federal-jurisdictional question of first impression before the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Representing several heavy-duty engine manufacturers in a series of appeals before the D.C. Circuit challenging a final rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Successfully briefed and argued a significant transportation case on behalf of a national railroad in the D.C. Circuit.
  • Argued and won an appeal in the D.C. Circuit on behalf of an airline challenging orders issued by the Department of Transportation that had deprived this airline of landing rights at Reagan National Airport.
  • Successfully briefed and argued in the D.C. Circuit on behalf of an airline seeking to uphold an agency ruling granting it lucrative transportation and delivery rights.
  • Argued and won an appeal in the D.C. Circuit on behalf of a major energy company seeking regulatory approval for a multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas project.
  • Briefed, argued, and won an appeal raising a federal-jurisdictional question of first impression before the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Briefed, argued, and won a significant appeal in the Federal Circuit arising from one of the last remaining Winstar cases. The court upheld a substantial multimillion-dollar judgment obtained on summary judgment.
  • Briefed and argued a complex First Amendment challenge in the D.C. Circuit involving a multimillion-page administrative record.
  • Successfully briefed and argued an appeal in the Tenth Circuit on behalf of two foreign governments claiming immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). In a precedent-setting decision, the Court found that a dispute arising out of a joint-venture agreement in China did not satisfy the commercial-activity exception to the FSIA and that therefore the foreign governments retained their immunity from suit.
  • Successfully briefed and argued in the Ninth Circuit a question of insurance coverage under California law.
  • Successfully briefed and argued a major appeal in the Tenth Circuit on behalf of a prominent federally chartered corporation regarding important questions under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Briefed, argued, and won a significant appeal in the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding the correct interpretation of a frequently litigated insurance clause.
  • On behalf of a major national university, briefed and argued a question of statutory construction under federal law in the D.C. Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully briefed and argued an appeal in the New Jersey Court of Appeals that relieved the client of a US$25 million liability.
  • On behalf of a national trade association, successfully briefed and argued an appeal involving a substantial award of attorneys' fees in the D.C. Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully petitioned for certiorari and drafted the merits briefs in a major Supreme Court case involving the Americans With Disabilities Act, winning 9-0.
  • Represented a foreign government in the Supreme Court in a case involving important constitutional and statutory questions regarding the applicability of U.S. law to foreign-flagged cruise ships.
  • On behalf of a foreign government, filed an amicus brief in support of a major cruise line in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Based on that amicus brief, the plaintiffs expressly abandoned claims addressed in the amicus brief.


Hogan Lovells Publications
14 January 2014 "Supreme Court Reins In the Jurisdictional Reach of U.S. Courts Over Foreign and Out-of-State Corporations." Litigation Alert, Hogan Lovells

18 April 2013 "Supreme Court significantly limits reach of Alien Tort Statute." U.S. Supreme Court and Appellate Alert, Hogan Lovells

29 January 2013 "Hogan Lovells secures important victory for Maryland resident taxpayers with out-of-state income from pass-through entities." U.S. Supreme Court and Appellate Alert, Hogan Lovells

October 2011 "Class Actions Bulletin – October 2011." Class Actions Bulletin, Hogan Lovells

29 April 2011 "Supreme Court rules that arbitration agreements can foreclose classwide arbitration procedures." Class Action Alert, Hogan Lovells

PRACTICES
Litigation and Arbitration
Appellate
AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Supreme Court Litigation
  • Appellate Litigation
  • Constitutional Law
  • Foreign Sovereign Immunity
  • Insurance Appeals
  • Patent Appeals
EDUCATION
J.D., Yale Law School, 1997 B.A., summa cum laude, University Honors, American University, 1993
AWARDS / RANKINGS
  • The American Lawyer, Litigator of the Week, 2013
  • Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers Report, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, 2013
  • Super Lawyers, Appellate Litigation, 2013
  • National Law Journal, Appellate Hot List, 2010
  • Legal 500 US, Insurance: Advice to Insurers, 2011
  • Legal 500 US, Patents: Appeals, 2007
BAR ADMISSIONS / QUALIFICATIONS District of Columbia Maryland
COURT ADMISSIONS U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit U.S. District Court, District of Colorado U.S. District Court, District of Columbia